You may have noticed a very large number on the home page at NCPR, $300,000, the goal for our spring fundraiser. And if memory serves, you may recall that it was $250,000 last spring. And so you may be asking “What’s up with that?”
- Public broadcasting, NCPR in particular, and the nation in general appears to be poised at an inflection point. In the near term, certainly before our fall fundraiser, it will be decided if public media as we have known it for the last 50 years will continue on with an ownership stake from the taxpayer, or whether it will need to fund itself entirely on its own resources. In practical terms, as this plays out it could sink many of the “smaller boats” in the system, and could strip $260,000 out of NCPR’s operating budget overnight. So if you can do more now, we’re asking you to do more.
- Even absent a total or partial cut-off of federal funding, we at NCPR feel the need to step up our game. The country, including the North Country, is angry and divided. That makes this a dangerous time to also be poorly informed. The inflection point the country is at is not whether the views of the left or the right will prevail, but whether the public will trust anyone to give them the facts they need to function as citizens. Trust in political leaders, in the institutions of society, and in the media has not been at a lower point in memory. And many of the wounds are self-inflicted. What little trust does remain is strongest in public media, in the reputation we have earned by faithfully adhering to long-accepted standards of journalistic ethics. We take that trust as a call to extraordinary effort at this time, one that will require extraordinary resources. So if you can do more now, we’re asking you to do more.
- The last two decades have seen the hollowing out of newsrooms across the country, and nowhere more so than in local and regional newsrooms where the impact is close to home. Papers are thinner, broadcasts are fluffier and many small communities have gone dark altogether. A strong commitment to public service journalism is needed to stem that decline. So if you can do more now, we’re asking you to do more now.